Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Eve Parade

2015-04-04 Easter Parade

The celebration of Easter Eve in Sweden bears a resemblance to Halloween in the US. Most people here celebrate Easter as a secular rather than religious holiday, but with some remnants of old superstitions mixed into it – like Easter Eve being a day when there might be witches about, which should be frightened off by bonfires and fireworks. Nowadays we bribe them with Easter Eggs full of candy instead… The tradition varies a bit from one part of the country to another, but children might dress up as witches and sometimes even go knocking on doors asking for candy . Or, they might dress up and go in a parade  through town; which they did in my town today.

I had been shopping and only caught up with the festivities for the finale, when they were dancing around the Easter tree in the square – much as at Christmas we dance around the Christmas tree, and at Midsummer around the Maypole...

And of course there was candy waiting for the little ones at the end of it all. As if they don’t get enough this weekend anyway - most of them.

According to a newspaper article, here in Sweden (population of 9.5 million), the shops sell about 6000 tons of candy just for Easter. Rather scary, put like that!

I probably had my share in the past; but this year my Easter Eggs just serve as “eye candy”. (Okay, I have some dark chocolate in the fridge… But I do try to keep mostly to fruit!)

However you celebrate (or not), I wish you all

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14 comments:

  1. You all have a lot of fun on Easter! Our holiday is more religious, except for the Easter Egg Hunts. I will be having one tomorrow and posting it. I have just finished filling the eggs. That huge Easter tree is so pretty. People here usually put Easter trees in their front yards. BUT I have been driving around and have not found even ONE! Happy Easter Monica!

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    1. Our Easter is a strange mix of traditions, Ginny. To some it's all about church, to others just a spring break (both Good Friday and Easter Monday still being official holidays in our calendar).

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  2. How interesting about Easter in Sweden! That's a lot of candy. Have a Happy Easter. I've colored eggs, but no candy.

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    1. Happy Easter, Janet! Many people colour their eggs over here too. When on my own, I don't bother! :)

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  3. Lovely information, super images!
    Since my son went to Germany (about a year ago - he's home again now, but his German sweetheart is coming out to NZ to join him soon), I have been learning so much about traditions like this 'up' your way.
    Coincidentally, they both want to move to Sweden. I shall send him a link to your blog.

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    1. I can see certain similarities between our countries, Kate, like both ranking low in population density to for example the UK or Germany :) The climate is a different matter though...

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  4. One of the things I so love about your blog is that I always learn something here, Monica. For instance, I didn't know that witches play a role in Swedish Easter celebrations. They certainly do not here! We have our Walpurgis-Nacht, the night between April 30 and May 1st, where witches are supposed to roam the night, but children don't dress up as them; only modern-day believers in witchcraft gather for rites I don't know anything about. Young people play (harmless) tricks on others; originally, it was young men taking garden gates out of their hinges at the houses were pretty girls lived, to show the girls' fathers that they wanted to gain entry.
    But nothing of the kind here on Easter. I don't know how much candy is sold here for this weekend - what I bought for the family and carried home last week already feels like a ton :-)

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    1. We celebrate Walpurgis-night here too, Meike, often with bonfires, and speeches and songs to greet Spring. No witches involved - and not much candy either. Traditions vary a bit throughout our oblong country though, and even more so in the past I think. In some places, bonfires etc were more common at Easter, and in others on Walpurgis night.

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  5. I love Easter and miss the Swedish traditions over here :)

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    1. I guess our traditions are often more deeply rooted within us than we might think, Eva - and it's not until they happen to crash with different ones that we realize!

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  6. love that chicken.. that is a lot of candy. hate to think how much is sold here.

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    1. More people, more candy - no doubt! :)

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  7. Thank you for sharing your traditions. I love the color of the rooster- I call it Easter egg color. When daughter and her family (including her daughters, 4 year old and one year old granddaughters), we will dye eggs. Then they will hunt for plastic Easter eggs filled with coins. Then our Easter dinner. Happy Easter.

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    1. Putting coins or toys in the Easter eggs sounds like a better idea than just candy, Norma :)

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